Learn how to make cutting-edge House and Tech House with our 3 month online Production Certificate taught by Ben Remember & Jon Kong.
Samples can create some great textures in your tracks simply by doing nothing, but using them to kickstart your creativity is what they are all about!1
Taking the time to really customise and personalize your samples will make your music much more your own. Every time.
Here’s 5 simple and creative tricks you can do to give the loops a personal touch, whilst working towards creating your first big track.
So, let’s say you like a percussive hit from one drum groove, but you like the hat shuffle in another? Who’s to say you can’t cut them both up and splice them together? The whole idea of chopping up loops is so you can surgically remove the best parts and create hybrid loops from others.
Slice up the sound file with your scissor tool and cut out whatever you don’t need, whilst leaving the good stuff!
One of Ben Remember’s top tips – re-pitch to your hearts content!
Re-pitching your samples up and down can do all manner of great things. Get your samples in key, get creative with high or low octaves, even create a melody with your samples if you wish.
Whether it’s a drum loop, snare hit or high-hat, you’ll often end up with some interested and often unexpected results, merely by shifting the semitones up or down. Get inspired!
Play around with the semitone tool until you have the desired sound.
Reverse your samples and see what happens – I bet you’ll be surprised at how good it sounds! Sound reversal is a timeless technique that completely changes the way a sound is heard.
Create risers, build-ups, and transitions by simple flipping the orientation or the sample.
Many software programs let you flip a sample and play it backwards. Ableton has a ‘Reverse’ button in the sample window. Give it a try
The word ‘distortion’ often brings to mind screaming amped up guitars or bit-crushed drums, but in actuality there’s plenty of ways we can enhance our mixes with a distortion unit.
Use distortion or saturation on your loops to add warmth, character and power.
Always remember that with distortion, a little goes a long way. Always reference your tracks and listen with fresh ears, make sure you’re making the loop sound better, not worse.
Does your loop feel too polished,dull, or mechanical? Crank up the distortion and give it some grit!
In your quest for richer, pro sounding samples, it’s likely you’ve come across the concept of sound layering – particularly with drums.
Drums are at the foundation of a groove, get them right and the rest will follow in suit.
The choice of layers, and the way those layers are manipulated, contribute not only to the impact of the drums, but also the sound of the record and the producer’s individual style.
Try layering up your drum samples to add width, depth and overall thickness.
However, don’t be too hasty, use each element as a contribution to the bigger picture. Be prepared to remove some sounds that aren’t quite working.
The goal is to get as creative as you can with your loops and samples. Simply dragging and dropping, and using nothing but pre-made loops isn’t particularly creative, and certainly won’t cut it when it comes to releasing you own music. Be picky, take your time and find the right sounds, even if they are just there to get your creative juices flowing.
Get creative with Mark Knight’s brand-new sample pack ‘Toolroom Trademark Series – Mark Knight Vol. 2’, jack packed witha wealth of flawless loops & single hits spanning every essential track element, allowing House, Tech House and Techno producers to dip in and find that missing sound, or build an entire track from the ground up.
Check it out here.